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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Henry Shepherd


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Henry Shepherd : The Countess of Essex

Elizabeth Barrett to Mary Russell Mitford, 10 August 1836: 'I can tell you [...] of [John Kenyon's] having given himself a great deal of kind trouble in finding the Countess of Essex for me and of my reading it and Paracelsus besides which he also lent me. As to the play, its talent may be both felt & seen -- but felt & seen [italics]in parts[end italics] [...] But have you seen Paracelsus? I am a little discontented even [italics]there[end italics], & wd wish for more harmony & rather more clearness & compression [...] but I do think that the pulse of poetry is full & warm & strong in it [...] There is a palpable power! a height & depth of thought, -- & sudden repressed gushings of tenderness which suggest to us a depth beyond, in the affections. I wish you wd read it, & agree with me that the author is a poet in the holy sense. And I wish that some passages in the poem referring to the divine Being had been softened or removed. They sound to me daringly; and [italics]that[end italics] is not the appropriate daring of genius.'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Elizabeth Barrett      Print: Book


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